Family movie critic and MOVIEGUIDE® publisher Dr. Ted Baehr says Disney has "marred" its live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast with "gratuitous, politically correct homosexual references that are on the nose, out of place and in-your-face."
In his online review of the movie, he describes a gay story line between Gaston, the villain, and his effeminate sidekick, LeFou.
"Though brief, the subplot is so in-your-face and political that it detracts from the main fantasy," Baehr wrote after seeing the film.
In an interview with CBN News, he also described the scene the film's director labeled as an "exclusively gay moment" as "subtle" because there are no explicit gay acts.
"What it is is LeFou is singing the same song that he sang to Gaston before [in the animated movie] with a little wink and a nod. You could take it either way," he said.
But Baehr also describes another scene that points to LeFou's lust for Gaston.
LeFou asks, "What about us?" when Gaston says he intends to marry Belle, the heroine. LeFou later adds that he's determined to "get" Gaston just as Gaston is determined to get Belle.
In addition, Baehr says Disney has created a cross-dressing moment in the movie. It happens when three of Gaston's henchmen are dressed as women and one of them turns to the camera "and is happy about it," Baehr said.
The movie critic told CBN News he thinks Disney might regret publicizing its "exclusively gay moment."
"I think they originally started out doing this as a publicity stunt, but it's backfired on them because some of the people in the movie have used it as a platform for their own political agenda, and that's going to hurt them," said Baehr.
Director Bill Condon began the controversy when he described a "nice, exclusively gay moment" in the movie to a European gay lifestyle magazine and then later told USA Today it was a "wonderful gay moment."
Baehr says the backlash that has followed may cost Disney at the box office.
"One hundred and seventeen million people go to church every week," he told CBN News, adding that only 20 million go to the movies every week.
Evangelist Franklin Graham has called on Christians to boycott the movie, and 130,000 people have signed an online petition urging a boycott.
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